Live Around Town This Week


Now that the City Arts Fest has come and gone, it looks like there might not be any big music events or festivals around the Northwest for a while. It should start raining and getting cold soon though, so at least we have that to look forward to. Despite the Summer/Fall festival season coming to a close and a reportedly brutal winter impending, live music will still go on in Seattle, and there are already quite a few dates in November I have circled on my calendar. Week 1 of 2010’s penultimate month seems particularly bountiful. Here’s a quick rundown:

Tuesday, November 2nd

AVI BUFFALO with The Head and The Heart @ Neumos

Avi Buffalo, originally a musical alias for lead man Avigdor Zahner-Isenberg, are a California four-piece that are just as young as Zahner-Isenberg’s choir boy voice would have you believe. The group is barely out of high school, and they released their self-titled full-length debut on Sub Pop earlier this year. They played a somewhat sheepish performance at the Capitol Hill Block Party, but have been touring steadily since then, sharing the stage with the likes of Blitzen Trapper and My Morning Jacket, so headlining their own bill at Neumos on Monday should mean a good show. The Head and the Heart will also be making their seemingly weekly appearance at one live venue or the other around Seattle. Don’t take these performances for granted though, as it shouldn’t be too long before they’re hitting the road nationally as well. (8 pm, $12 adv, all ages)

GORILLAZ with N.E.R.D @ Key Arena

In the midst of a world tour to support their most recent release Plastic Beach, Seattle will be Gorillaz last domestic stop before taking their show abroad for a considerable amount of time. I don’t know if this means anything, but I had to introduce the show somehow. They do seem to be enthusiastic about performing the new material though. One of my friends saw them the other week and said they were incredible, and they recently gave a nearly 45 minute performance on David Letterman (that can be seen here). It’d be cool if the show was somewhere else other than Key Arena, but then again The Arcade Fire played at Key Arena a few weeks ago and I certainly didn’t hear any complaints. Gorillaz are also, of course, known for their cartoon fronts and the music videos they appear in. By clicking here, you can watch the video for “Stylo” from Plastic Beach featuring Bruce Willis. (7:30 pm, $48.50-$89)

Wednesday, November 3rd

LYRICS BORN with Rakaa, Hi Life Soundsystem, and DJ Swerveone @ Neumos

I can’t really imagine high-energy Bay Area party rapper Lyrics Born not putting on an amazing show. His music is all about dancing, shouting, and throwing your hands in the air, and he will surely have Neumos bouncing on Wednesday night. Adding to the fervor will be the fact that his third album As You Were will have just come out (it was released last Tuesday), so he should be extra amped up to play some of his new material. If you think you’ve heard of Lyrics Born but aren’t sure, you’d probably recognize his initial hit “Callin’ Out” from his 2003 debut Later That Day. It was basically the song of the summer and I’m pretty sure it was in a Coke commercial – isn’t that the sign that you’ve made it? Another thumper off his second album is 2008’s “I Like It, I Love It”. He performed it just for KEXP in the Bay Area in 2009:

(8 pm, $15 adv, 21+)

BEN GIBBARD @ The Crocodile

Judging by how popular Ben Gibbard is in the Northwest and how small The Crocodile is, you might assume this show is already sold out. Well, it is. It will be a special evening though, as Gibbard will be giving an intimate solo performance to benefit Teen Feed, an organization which provides meals for homeless teens. Craigslist is a wonderful thing, though, and I’m sure if you’re determined enough you’ll be able to land a ticket or two. (8 pm, $30, 21+)

THE HEAVY with Wallpaper @ Showbox at the Market

The Heavy opened for Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings in June at the Showbox SoDo and absolutely blew me away. Charismatic front man Kevin Swaby can take over an entire venue, forcefully urging the audience to give in to the show and go crazy to the band’s bluesy funk-rock that sounds just as good live as you’d expect it to after listening to their stellar 2009 album The House That Dirt Build. And their live shows are truly shows. Swaby engages the audience, moves around the stage feverishly, and has several little ploys to introduce songs that you don’t see very often. Live horns might also be present, as they were at their show in June, which only adds to the funkiness. Expect a good time here. (7 pm, $20 adv/$22 dos, 21+)

photo by Christopher Nelson

Thursday, November 4th

KURT VILE with The Soft Pack and Purling Hiss @ Neumos

I’m pretty sure that Philadelphia has soul. Or at least it’s supposed to – I think there is some quote or line about that – and when I imagine the supposed soul of Philly, I hear Kurt Vile‘s music. Maybe it’s his raw, lo-fi style, but there is something genuine about Vile’s songs, that all seem to exhibit a certain kind of blue-collar soulfulness that feels perfect for the City of Brotherly Love. The man can also flat-out write songs, which I guess a necessary skill when you’re trying to make money off albums you recorded in your basement. And if Kurt Vile isn’t enough, laid-back, down-to-Earth, Southern California four-piece The Soft Pack will be opening. Good stuff. (8 pm, $13 adv, 21+)

Friday, November 5th

THE BLACK WHALES with Dan Mangan and Jared Mess and the Grown Children @ Columbia City Theater

If you haven’t heard by now, the Columbia City Theater was recently renovated. It was re-opened in June, and since has showcased great show after great show and received great review after great review. The trend will continue on Friday when local indie rockers and KEXP favorites The Black Whales will be headlining a bill that also includes up-and-coming and good-spirited Canadian songwriter Dan Mangan, whose album was released in the US, and features one of our Songs of the Day “Road Regrets”. The show will also serve as the release party for the new Black Whales 7″ single “Rattle Your Bones”. Here’s front man Alex Plain playing a few songs for Sound on the Sound during some down time at the Doe Bay Music Festival:

(9 pm, $10)

Saturday, November 6th

AUDIOASIS SHOWCASE with Wild Orchid Children, Dark Time Sunshine, and Absolute Monarchs @ The Sunset Tavern

The Audioasis Showcase is hands down the best deal of the week. Not only is is only $7 to see Absolute Monarchs AND Dark Time Sunshine AND Wild Orchid Children (who should rock the bejesus out of The Sunset), but all proceeds from the event will go to Powerful Schools. So you’re basically donating $7 to a good cause and getting to see a full night of great local music. For more info, click here. (doors at 8:30, $7, 21+)

LAURA VEIRS & THE HALL OF FLAMES with Leslie Stevens & The Badgers and Led to Sea @ The Crocodile

Upon first glance, Laura Veirs seems to be a typical poetically-minded singer/songwriter, who doesn’t bring much to the table other than an acoustic guitar and a clever line here and there. While Veirs is poetically-minded, she also writes great music that goes far beyond strumming a few chords over a poem. She plays with a full band, and gets everything she can out of every instrument on storage. She played an amazing set for KEXP during this year’s MusicFest NW at the Doug Fir Lounge in Portland. She can play more full-bodied indie rock like “Galaxies”, or contemplative low-key journies that bring to mind Joanna Newsome or more mellow Emiliana Torrini, such as “Sleeper in the Valley”, which you can listen to here:

Laura Veirs – Sleeper in the Valley

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(8 pm, $13 adv, 21+)

Some shows that will also be great and that I tragically failed to write about for some reason include local folk rockers The Cave Singers playing at the Showbox at the Market on Friday, as well as Irish indie rockers Two Door Cinema Club playing at Neumos on Saturday. Also, on Tuesday, Bear in Heaven will be playing with Sun Airway at The Crocodile. Sun Airway’s song “Oh, Naoko” is today’s Song of the Day. Enjoy!

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One Comment

  1. Jazz Music UK
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Gorillaz were great at Glastonbury this year – well worth checking out!

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